Final Word from Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bohuslav Sobotka bent over backward to lure in Amazon. Once the deed was done, Amazon settled into a Prague office complex built, as it happens, with proceeds from Sobotka's sleight-of-hand privatization of MUS coal company. At the office-warming party, Sobotka said that the CR is a safe haven for foreign investors. What he meant isn't clear, but for Amazon it meant shelter from pesky German labor unions and the ability to continue booking sales to the CR through Luxembourg (unlike in Germany, where public pressure put an end to this). While Sobotka was bending over backwards for Amazon, he couldn't have known that his benefactors from PPF and J&T were planning to join up with to take on Amazon. Jeff Bezos might be one of the world's richest men, but he will now soon find out what it's like for an established multi­national to confront the all-powerful oligarchs who own the CR. So much for "safe haven." [Czech Republic online internet sales Daniel Křetínský Patrik Tkáč Rockaway E-commerce Holding Petr Kellner]

Glossary of difficult words

haven - a place of safety or refuge;

to bend over backward to do something - to make every effort, esp. to be fair or helpful;

sleight of hand - the use of dexterity or cunning, esp. so as to deceive;

office-warming party - a party celebrating a move to a new office;

pesky - causing trouble; annoying;

benefactor - a person who gives money or other help to a person or cause;

multinational - (of a business organization) operating in several countries.

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